I’ll never forget the crazy American Idol wanna-be who became infamous for his silly song about kids who wear their pants so low you can see their underwear. As I have been studying the belt of truth in Ephesians 6, I find God gave it to us to keep us from having the same problem – pants on the ground for lack of a sturdy belt.
I did a Bible search and found the Greek word used for truth in Ephesians 6 aletheia used 99 times in the New Testament. It’s defined as “what is true in any matter under consideration” so this is not a relative truth or changing perspective but an objective, definitive belt with the things we can nail down with certainty.
When you look at the breakdown in each book, it’s found in 23 of the 26 books and fairly even distributed throughout. However we find it used 20 times in the book of John. A few of these verses are:
John 1:17 “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” NIV
John 14:6 “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'”
John 14:16-17 “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.”
John 15:26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me.”
The truth that holds the other pieces of armor in place isn’t merely concepts, but God Himself. The belt distinguishes itself from the Sword which is the word of God. Certainly, God’s Word is truth, however, the belt speaks of the living Word in the person of God Himself. He embodies the truth. When we receive and commune with God, we come into contact with the person of truth.
The belt hits right at the center of our bodies. When we make Jesus the center of our lives by giving Him first place, we will find He holds our lives together. The Old Testament sheds more light on truth as foundational to our modern spiritual wardrobe. Psalm 25:5 says, “Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” The Hebrew word for truth here is ’emeth(used 125 times in the OT) which comes from the root word ‘aman(used 102 times) defined as “to support, stable.” How does a belt support or provide stability?
Yep, it keeps our pants from falling down. God sent us His Son Jesus because of the weakness of our sinful nature (Romans 8). When Jesus left behind his humanity to join His Father in heaven, He didn’t leave us as orphans. He sent His Spirit to be with us always. When we cling to Jesus and the Holy Spirit as the center of our lives, we find stability in the truth of who they are.
I have elevated people, events, circumstances, and money as first in my heart and mind at different times in my life, making them the center of my thoughts, feelings, and actions. I can’t begin to express how sorely disappointed I have been by all these things. People fail us. I’m not saying we should isolate ourselves from friends and family. We just can’t give them first place. When we do, truth becomes distorted. Our lenses get cloudy like my contacts when I’ve worn them too long. We need to put on the belt of truth, who God gave us in sending His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit as our stability. Then when the ground shakes beneath our feet, we may experience pain, but we won’t trip over our own two feet because our pants have fallen down.
The belt provides the stability to see things through God’s clear perspective rather than our fuzzy flesh. Throughout the gospels we find Jesus saying repeatedly, “I tell you the truth.” This is a different word than the Greek altheia that defines Him as the truth. In some translations it reads like this: “verily verily, I say unto you.”
It is the Greek word amen. We often end our prayers with it out of routine. The Greek word means “firm, faithful, truly.” It’s like saying “it is true” at the end of your prayer or someone else’s. Growing up in the denomination I was raised in the South, we sometimes had what adults called “an amener” in the service. Someone would shout out “amen” throughout the sermon. Though mixed reviews could come in as to the motive of the person calling much attention to himself and possibly distracting from the message, the thought behind saying “amen” is to call out “yes, I agree. It’s truth.”
The gospels record 81 usages of “amen.” Most of these are by Jesus himself as the front end of a statement about God the Father, the gospel, end times, etc. He wanted to be sure we understood that He was the truth and wasn’t making this stuff up as He went along. He also made crystal clear that the Holy Spirit embodied the truth and would guide us in it.
We can’t put on the belt and find stability in the truth apart from Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Our natural defaults and subjective reasoning cannot be trusted to figure out the truth. The enemy wants to keep us from seeing the truth so His biggest tactic is to keep us far from intimacy with the person of truth – God himself. However, when we cling to Jesus and His Spirit instead of people, knowledge, and things, our hearts say “amen.” This is how we were created to live – in close fellowship with our God. Without Him at the center, we often find ourselves with our pants on the ground as we’ve tried to hold it together in our own strength instead of His.
Truth is a PERSON – God! Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen and amen. It is truth!
Scripture to pray: “Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.” Psalm 25:5